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Lanae-Tava Thomas smashes age group national record at Junior Olympics


LAWRENCE, Kansas -- With multi-events and race walk complete, middle distance runners and sprinters took their turn on the oval in the 400m hurdles, 800m and 200m on the third day of USATF Hershey Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. Field events took a dramatic turn in the women’s 15-16 long jump with a new national record.

Watch on demand video of today’s events on USATF.TV+ and follow competition live all week.

In dominating fashion, Lanae-Tava Thomas (Henrietta, New York; USATF Niagara) smashed the girls’ 15-16 national record with the ninth-best jump overall this year. Thomas stormed down the runway and lept 6.68m/21-11. Her jump puts her one spot behind 2016 Rio Olympian Keturah Orji on the top marks of 2017.

Competition began under grey skies with the first round of 400m hurdles, along with several final field events. In the boys’ 15-16 division, Jarrett Flaker (Scarborough, Maine; USATF Maine) was the top qualifier with a time of 55.82, followed by Mason Anthony (Elbert, Colorado; USATF Colorado) and Matthew Harris (Atlanta, Georgia; USATF Georgia) just behind in 56.41 and 56.43.

Imagine Patterson (Summerville, South Carolina; USATF South Carolina) marked herself as a favorite in the women’s 17-18 and posted the only time under 62 seconds to qualify with the fastest time of the day in 1:01.86.

In the field events, shot putter Joshua Sobota (Knoxville, Tennessee; USATF Tennessee) nearly clinched Dwight Johnson’s 1987 national record with his final throw of 19.85m/65-1.5. Sobota, who was recently crowned Gatorade Tennessee Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year, held the men’s 17-18 lead from the second round and catapulted to almost 20m on his sixth attempt.

Kassadi Avent took home girls’ 9-10 high jump gold by clearing 1.30m/4-3.25. Avent competed neck-and-neck with second place’s Kyara Fite but ultimately prevailed to win top honors.

Following an hour-long weather delay in the early afternoon, the 800m preliminary heats provided close finishes across age groups and a new national record. Grant Reynolds (Conyers, Georgia; USATF Georgia) ran 2:33.55 to break the previous boys’ 8 & under record of 2:33.73 set by Tristan Page in 2013.

Cha’iel Johnson (Miami Gardens, Florida; USATF Florida) cruised through her girls’ 11-12 prelim in 2:21.33 to advance to Saturday’s final. Johnson holds the national record in her age group at 2:14.80, set earlier this year.

As rain continued in the late afternoon, young athletes overcame wet conditions to complete the first round of 200m heats. In the 17-18 girls heats it was a Texas showdown as Kynnedy Flannel (Alvin, Texas; USATF Gulf) and ShaCarri Richardson (Dallas, Texas; USATF Southwestern) raced neck in neck to the finish in 23.95. Flannel of Track Houston Youth Club taking the win by .002.

Thursday’s events begin at 8:00 a.m. local time with the first round of 1500m, girls’ and boys’ 13-14. Click here for a full schedule.

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For full results click here.

Boys Triple Jump 13-14

Johnny Brackins Jr., The Doors, 12.75m/41’ 10”

Girls High Jump 9-10

Kassidi Avent, Willis/Camden PAL, 1.30m/4’ 3 ¼”

Men’s Shot Put 17-18

Joshua Sobota, GymTek Academy, 19.85m/65’ 1 ½”

Girls Javelin Throw 11-12

Jasmine Hampton, Sequoyah Youth Track, 35.23m/115’ 7”

Girls Javelin Throw 8 & Under

Isabella Allison, Phoenix Flyers, 17.79m/58’ 4”


Girls Pole Vault 13-14

Kyla Davis, Unattached, 3.50m/11’ 5 ¾”

Boys Triple Jump 15-16

Cameron Hudson, Club Nitro Flyers, 14.57m/47’ 9 ¾”

Girls Shot Put 15-16

Faith Bender, Unattached, 12.97m/42’ 6 ¾”


Women’s High Jump 17-18

Sydney Sapp, OKC Sprinters, 1.70m/5’ 7”


Boys Javelin Throw 11-12

Max Berger, Rainier Beach Track, 41.95m/137’ 7”

Boys Javelin Throw 8 & Under

Brady Galligher, New Jersey Striders, 25.42m/83’ 4”

Men’s Long Jump 17-18

Jakobe’ Ford, Seattle Speed Academy, 7.47m/24’ 6 ¼”


Women’s Shot Put 17-18

Veronica Fraley, Junior Striders T&F, Inc., 13.83m/45’ 4 ½”


Girls Long Jump 15-16

Lanae-Tava Thomas, Maximum Velocity Track Club, 6.68m/21’ 11”


Kyle Levermore

Communications Intern, USATF

Ashley Mitchell

Marketing and Communications Manager, USATF

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